Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell spent Tuesday stumping and raising money for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, doubling down on his commitment to help Walker win his June 5 recall election even as McDonnell's Democratic counterpart, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, remains largely on the sidelines of the Wisconsin race.
The Republican Governors Association that McDonnell heads spent $8.3 million so far -- more than any other group -- and on Wednesday launched its eighth ad assailing Walker's Democratic opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.McDonnell went on national TV Tuesday to defend Walker's efforts to weaken public employee labor unions and attended a Walker fundraiser Tuesday evening.
"Scott Walker's had the guts to do things that [President] Barack Obama won't do," McDonnell said Tuesday on MSNBC's "Morning Rundown." "And that's lead and be honest."
O'Malley's Democratic Governors Association has so far funneled $3.2 million into four ads slamming Walker's job creation record, though O'Malley has not yet visited Wisconsin.
"DGA's involvement has paled in comparison to the RGA's up until this point," said Mike McCabe, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. "There's been some recent complaining out of the state among Democrats that both the [Democratic National Committee] and the DGA haven't been involved enough."
O'Malley last week asked Democrats to help raise an additional $300,000 for the Wisconsin race.
Republicans across the country have coalesced around Walker, including Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who last week asked his supporters to contribute to Walker.
The Wisconsin race is the first head-to-head showdown between McDonnell and O'Malley, who will duel over 11 other gubernatorial races this fall.
"Having the chairman of the RGA come out and support Gov. Walker shows that unlike the Democratic Party -- that is clearly very splintered right now and has been unable to unite all their forces around Mayor Barrett -- the Republican Party is fully behind Gov. Walker and their efforts to stave off recall," said Walker spokeswoman Ciara Matthews.